NEW New Namus public site no longer posts DNA or dental information?

Discussion in 'Unidentified "How To" & Reference Forum' started by coffeeandacig, May 20, 2018.

  1. rosemadderlake

    rosemadderlake Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that info, sunnynz.

    Maybe if a few of us from WS message Mr Matthews, especially some who can speak to the benefits of having Namus information available to those on a crime forum, it might help?

    I'm putting it out there b/c I'm not on FB. But given this info I'll find another way to message him, also.

    I'm really curious as to why Namus made this decision to cloak so much info to the public, or was it function of the new software?
     
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  2. CCJD

    CCJD Active Member

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    I was thinking the same thing about contacting Todd. It's only a few of us who have approached him on FB about these changes. NamUs might be more amenable to reversing the decision(s) if more people spoke out.

    As far as the hidden biometrics, Todd said "Not everyone appreciated sharing that data. Some chose to leave it blank instead to avoid sharing publicly...." BBM

    So we have agencies who won't share biometrics, entire cases that are in NamUs but not shown publicly, some exclusions hidden (for instance, it might say 13 exclusions but only 8 are showing) and I've seen where some particularly gruesome postmortem photos are now hidden.

    I just wonder what will be next to be hidden from the public.
     
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  3. Find Brenda

    Find Brenda Member

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    I just do not understand why any agency would be averse to sharing key biometric data? "Yes, we have dental, fingerprint, and DNA on file." How does that harm any investigatory process? If anything, it helps eliminate duplication of services and wasting valuable time & resources (i.e. scores of websleuths submitting matches for people with DNA already in the system).

    It is unfortunate that some agencies do not appreciate the immense value of amateur advocates and websleuths. So many cases would still be ice cold without them.
     
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  4. Bit of hope

    Bit of hope Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Find Brenda. I would like to help you find Brenda. Does she have a thread on WS already?
     
  5. Find Brenda

    Find Brenda Member

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    Thank you. Yes, it is here.
     
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  6. CCJD

    CCJD Active Member

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    As I recall from entering missing cases into the old NamUs, the biometrics were things that you HAD to choose something, i.e. not available, available and entered, available elsewhere, sample not available (DNA), sample submitted - tests not complete (DNA), etc. There might have even been an "unknown" choice, but you had to pick one or the system told you there was not enough info entered to submit.

    The best compromise I can think of is that they make each biometric status optional for public viewing, like they do with pictures. A little check box "show to public?". They check it, we can see it. Leave it unchecked, we don't.
     
  7. sunnynz

    sunnynz Active Member

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    [QUOTE="Find Brenda, post: 14152445, member: 59893"It is unfortunate that some agencies do not appreciate the immense value of amateur advocates and websleuths. So many cases would still be ice cold without them.[/QUOTE]

    There’s an interesting podcast interview with paul holes (the detective for years on the golden state killer case) by the ‘my favourite murder’ podcast. He talks about the great benefits of the wave of online sleuths, but also talks about some of the less helpful elements it’s introduced for LE. It gives an interesting perspective on how there’s a need to put some processes and filters in place to manage the floods of information that LE are receiving (some of it very helpful and some of it poorly researched and time-wasting). Paraphrasing all of this but worth a listen and certainly made me think.

    So I can see where this kind of point of view comes from - a hesitancy to share information - if that particular investigator has had negative or frustrating experiences with amateur sleuths previously. Not saying I agree with withholding info, but it’s a tricky new world to navigate for everyone.
     
  8. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    Snp'd for focus.
    After what happened to Marcia King's family, I can understand some of the hesitation about releasing information to the public. I'm still miffed about folks having the audacity of hunting them down and harassing them, yelling at them, as if it were their God given right to judge her family. They single- handedly ruined it for the rest of us when it comes families of missing loved ones sharing their story when someone is ID'd now, as I'm sure they'll be more hesitant and they're not going to want the backlash from people like that. (Not saying they are responsible for what NamUs did, but that type of behavior certainly doesn't help)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  9. Find Brenda

    Find Brenda Member

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    I agree that what they did to her family was highly inappropriate. Sadly, that happens in many cases, not just this one. However, that had nothing to do with the public knowing about her DNA, fingerprint, or dental status in NamUs. That information is benign.

    These are public cases and unfortunately not everyone in the public is as sympathetic as we are when it comes to identifications. I get it that some people are upset because of the perception that "nobody was looking" for a missing person or that they failed to report them as missing. In fact, sometimes that makes me question things as well. Regardless of the reasons or the reality, it is not really any of our business. Our main goal is to help them all get home. It's hard for us to do that without knowing the status of their biometric data.

    I am confident that NamUs will come around eventually.
     
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  10. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say what happened to Marcia King's family had anything to do with the public knowing about biometrics. My comment was referring to investigators releasing information in general, and how that type of behavior makes them hesitant to share, like the post of yours I was quoting. I was agreeing with you, so I'm not sure where the litany is coming from trying educate me. Please don't do that. Thanks!
     
  11. Find Brenda

    Find Brenda Member

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    I wasn't trying to educate you. My post was in general...I was reaffirming that NamUs should share biometric data and that we do not need access to all the other details.
     
  12. CCJD

    CCJD Active Member

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    The annual NamUs meeting is taking place this week so, hopefully, it won't be long until we find out if they will relent and make that info public again. Fingers crossed!
     
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  13. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    No problem. My apologies for the misunderstanding.
     
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  14. Find Brenda

    Find Brenda Member

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    No need to apologize. This whole NamUs thing has really gotten to me and I guess I just needed to vent. I will just have to let it go and hope for the best.
     
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  15. CCJD

    CCJD Active Member

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    So, apparently, the issue of biometric info being made public on NamUs was discussed at the annual meeting. But "more discussion needed for sure". There's more on Todd's fb page but seriously, I won't hold my breath.
     
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